by: Tom Jones Updated:ATLANTA —
More than 100 Department of Public Safety officers have temporarily lost their arrest powers for not completing training.
The Department of Public Safety includes Georgia State Patrol, Capitol Police and the Motor Carrier Compliance Division, which inspects and weighs trucks.
"If an officer doesn't have the required training then they can't exercise their arrest powers," said DPS Commissioner Mark McDonough. But until we get that properly documented and taken care of the best thing is to not have them act in a capacity where they could be in violation."
McDonough told a total of 121 officers not to come to work until they complete annual training. Officer training is tracked by the Peace Officers Standards and Training Council, or P.O.S.T, which sent the list of names to McDonough.
McDonough said P.O.S.T. is moving all officers' training records throughout the state to an automated system.
"P.O.S.T. is in a transition period of time," he said. "It appears that the predominant number of folks that have ended up on that list are due to clerical and administrative errors,"
McDonough said his agency found 40 officers who shouldn't be on the list and expects to find more.
"We expect to get the majority of this cleared up in the next 48 hours," he said.
A P.O.S.T. official agreed and said many of the names shouldn't be on the list and he blamed an administrative error. But he said about 20 officers on the list have not completed necessary training and won't have arrest powers until they do.
The commissioner said other officers are coming in on off days to fill the gap of those told to stay home.